Thursday, May 31, 2012

5/31/12 Report - Detectorist to the Rescue! & Big Treasure

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Treasure Coast Beach Near low Tide This Morning.
 The beaches looked bad but the water was really nice.  The ocean was flat today.   And there was very good visibility.  You could actually walk around and eye-ball in shallow water.

Unfortunately there is a bunch of sand in front of the beach.  In some places there was a little dip between the sand bar and the beach, but at other places the bar started at the beach and went out into the water for quite a few yards.

Another Beach Near Low Tide.
 The dips weren't much good either.  Still too much loose stuff filling the dips.

The beach in the top photo had ore of a dip between the bar and the beach. 
While the second beach had no dip between the bar and the beach, you can see a little dip in this photo up the beach a ways.

None of the dips that I saw this morning were very good.

Here is a cute story.  Fortunately it had a happy ending.  Thanks to a detectorist.

I briefly mentioned this story yesterday without getting into the details.

A fellow from Colorado was in Naples and buried an engagement ring, planning to have his wife be surprised when she dug it up.  Upon returning to the beach he noticed that the beach had changed.  The tide came in and the buried ring was now under water and what was intended to be a little dig turned into a big hunt. 

Here is the video.

It was fortunate that detecting (and digging) was allowed.  Detectorists often make finds like this.  Too bad the pubic doesn't hear about the vast majority.

Also, down below that video there are more stories of lost rings.  Make sure to scroll down and view those.

I also mentioned the other day abut a finance story on Odyssey Marines.  This article discusses the financial implications of Odyssey Marine's ventures, including the wrecks of the Victory, Gairsoppa, Mantola as well as their work with Neptune Minerals.

Here is the link.

I think this article in part was responsible for the recent rise in their stock.

Good article.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5/30/12 Report - Beach Conditions and More on Olive Jars

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I got out to the beach yesterday to see what it looked like.  Here is one beach as it looked yesterday morning near low tide.  Pretty typical.  Very sandy poor conditions.  This is the same beach that had three foot cuts a few days ago.  The sand is always moving.  Usually you can tell what you are going to see before you get there, but occasionally there are surprises.  Local storms can kick up enough waves for a short period of time to create small cuts but they will be small and won't be productive unless they are on top of a beach that had recently been producing, and the cuts won't last long.  

A few inches is all it takes sometimes to freshen up a beach that was recently productive.  On the other hand it really takes a lot to make sandy unproductive beaches productive again.

I got a few emails on the topic of olive jars.  I showed an olive jar rim with what appears to be a nice clear owner's mark in my 5/11/12 post.  If you missed that post and can identify the mark or want to do some research, it sure would be nice to find out who it belonged to.
The Florida Museum of Natural History has a variety of olive jar shards in their database.

Here is the link to that.

The Mel Fisher artifact database shows two intact examples as well as some shards.

And here is an olive jar that is now for sale on eBay.  I think it was found in New Mexico, if I correctly recall.  The asking price is around $1700. 

It is not likely you will ever find an unbroken one on the beach. 

I have read of intact olive jars coming up in fishing nets. Two were discovered by fisherman off of St. Augustine like that. 

Shards are much more usual.  Occasionally the sand will cover and protect a jar, keeping it intact.

Olive Jar For Sale on EBay.
 The one in the photo has a three legged stand.  I don't know if that is original or not.  Could be. 

According to what I've read, it seems that some were carried in rough cloth carriers with handles.  Like I've said before, it is not unusual to find shards on the beach when conditions are right.

I think I've also told about receiving maps from an anonymous dowser who marked some spots on the Treasure Coast for investigation.   One X he put on the map was thought to indicate the location of a couple of olive jars full of treasure.

I have a lot of material today, but will have to keep a lot of it for tomorrow or some other day.

After visiting the beach briefly yesterday I decided to go inland to hunt a little while and found a decent amount of modern coins.

Many of the most hard core detectorists fall into a regular routine. They have their favorite spots and hunt them over and over again. Some even hunt the same days of the week and the same time of day.  If you've fallen into a habit like that, try changing things up a bit.  Try  some new places.  As surprising as it might seem, there are still places out there where people seldom hunt and where you can always find a good number of targets.

I found out why Odyssey marine stock had been doing well.  There was a Yahoo Finance article recommending them.  I'll have more on some of their projects tomorrow. 

And did you hear about the doctor that hid an engagement ring on the beach where he planned a surprise proposal.  Let me see....  what could go wrong with that plan?

More on that tomorrow too.  I'm running late.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast.

The seas are down around one or two feet.  The seas will remain calm through the weekend according to the predictions.  The wind will be mostly from the west or south. 

Even though conditions for finding old shipwreck coins on the beach remain poor, there are still some modern finds and a few artifacts to be found.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

5/29/12 Report - Jamestown Rediscovery Project

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Olive Jar From the Jamestown Rediscovery Web Site

There was a good program on CSPAN on Memorial Day about the archaeology of Jamestown.  As you might know, for a long time it was thought that the original fort had been washed into the river as the result of erosion.  Later the actual fort was located and excavated.  As it turns out, only a small part of the fort had actually disappeared into the river.

Here is a map of the fort.

You might be wondering what that has to do with the Treasure Coast.  You can learn a lot from other locations that can be applied locally.  The Jamestown colony used products from many countries, such as the Spanish olive jar shown here.

You'll find a lot of good archaeological resources on the Jamestown Rediscovery web site.  This link will take you to the page on Spanish olive jars, but the web site presents many other types of pottery discovered  at Jamestown as well as many other types of artifacts.

I'm very much interested in old shipwreck pottery.  You can sometimes find old shipwreck pot shards on the Treasure Coast beaches.  I'd like to be able to better identify those shards.   Pot shards can provide good clues to nearby shipwrecks.  Look for shards especially when large shells are washing up onto the beach.

As I watched the CSPAn TV program I saw a number of things that I found both thought-provoking and applicable to hunting on the Treasure Coast or almost anywhere for that matter.

One of the archaeologists on the program, for example, used the term "ownerless objects" to describe objects once owned and used by deceased members of the colony. I seriously doubt that any useable object would remain ownerless very long after the passing of an individual at Jamestown.  It seems to me that any usable object would quickly be adopted and put to use by someone.

The term also made me think of how objects found after resting for hundreds of years under the sea could still be thought to be the property of someone or some governmental agency.  This archaeologist's view of "ownerless objects" seems to sharply contrast with recent maritime rulings.   And if the courts rule, as they did in the recent Spain versus Odyssey Marine case, extending claims of ownership over hundreds of years, wouldn't similar logic put most archaeological artifacts at risk of being claimed by countries or other organizations or individuals?  To me, it seems it would.

Another thing that I thought was interesting is that they found a Roman oil lamp from the first century associated with the pre-1650 Jamestown settlement.  As I always say,  just because an object is old doesn't mean it was lost a long time ago.   People sometimes carry old things with them, as it appears one Jamestown settler did. 

I'm sure that many of you have found old objects on Florida beaches that appear to be out of place. In the past I've shown objects in this blog that were recently found on Florida beaches that are centuries old and from distant locations that were probably lost in recent days or years.. 

I once showed a gold ring holding a mounted 2 escudo that was evidently found by a treasure salvor, then mounted and sold, and lost again.  Actually it appeared that that particular coin had been lost at sea in one shipwreck before being recovered and shipped again in 1715 and then lost again before being salvaged, sold and lost once more.

People carry objects that were produced and traded through distant locations.  That is certainly true today, and it was true back in the 17th Century.  The Jamestown Rediscovered web site shows pottery and other artifacts from the Jamestown colony that were produced in many different countries.  One thing that surprised me is how many of the objects found at Jamestown came from different countries.  I would have expected a greater proportion of locally produced objects.

Dr. Kelso commented on the topic of cremation during the program..  He hoped that it wouldn't become the trend because cremation would not allow future archaeologists to study skeletal remains.  I made some comments on respecting the remains of deceased individuals the other day and personally see his views as potentially insensitive and disrespectful of individuals, religions and cultures.  Archaeology uber alles. 

I do think you'll find many interesting things on the Jamestown Rediscovery web site.  Take a look.  Browse around the various sections. 

Treasure Coast Beach Conditions and Forecast.

The wind is out of the southwest this morning.  Seas are running two or three feet.  The beaches look like mid-summer beaches.  Very sandy.

The seas will stay about the same for the next  couple of days.  Wednesday the wind will shift a little more to the west.

Low tide is around nine o'clock.

Happy hunting.

Monday, May 28, 2012

5/28/12 Report - A Good Shipwreck List & Santa Fe Cob.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

A few days ago I showed this picture of an eight-real and asked if you noticed any differences between this one and a similar Santa Fe cob that I showed a few days earlier. 

One difference is the assayer mark.  This one, to the left of the left column, might be described as "PORS."  The assayer mark on the other Santa Fe cob was simply "R."  Even though they are different both indicate assayer Pedro Ramos (1651-1676) who, according to Sewall Menzel, used eighteen different assayer marks.

On this cob you can more clearly see what is often referred to as a crosslet to the right of the shield.  Five dots form a cross.  Small details and variations like that can provide good clues to the identify of a cob.

Also notice the different type of crown on the columns.

Other New World mints that are not as well known by most Treasure Coast hunters, include the Cartagena mint (1622-1635 & 1655), Cuzco Mint (1698), Guatemala mint (1733-1754), Cuba mint (1741), and the Panama mint (1580-1583).

Here is a very extensive list of Florida shipwrecks from the International Registry of Shipwrecks.  The oldest wreck on the list that I noticed was from the 1520s and the most recent 1919, I think it was.  Anyhow, there is a lot to look at here.  A lot of 1500s wrecks are listed.

That is a very useful list.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

Beach conditions remain poor.   There is a south wind.  The swells are from the east.  Seas are running about two feet.

Often before the sun gets a little higher in the sky the wind  is less and the seas are calmer.

The seas will be down around two feet all week according to the current predictions.  And it is listed as "flat" next Monday.   That makes water hunting really easy.  Also usually makes good visibility for snorkeling, diving, or just eye-balling in the water.  And easy to dig near the water's edge.   Too bad it is so sandy.

We had a good rain along some of the Treasure Coast yesterday.  Remember to check for rain erosion on the banks of the dunes or other places.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, May 27, 2012

5/27/12 - Memorial Day Report

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Memorial Day was originally instituted by the US to commemorate fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces and has become a time to generally remember deceased relatives and ancestors.

It seems that most men have a natural inclination to respect the remains of the deceased, especially those with whom they share some sense of personal connection.  They especially want their loved ones and the remains of their loved ones to be respected. 

It seems that men have for thousands of years treated their dead according to deeply held cultural, religious and personal beliefs.  Different groups may treat their dead slightly differently, but at the psychological core there is much that is common about how very different groups respect and treat human remains.

When I watch Egyptian mummies being removed from their elaborately concealed and lavishly supplied tombs to be studied and displayed in museums, I can't help but feel a little uneasy.   Somehow it does not seem right to me.

I know that some will say that it is for the sake of science and that the deteriorated body is nothing more than dust.  That may be so in the minds of some, but how has this type of violation of human remains made the world a better place? 

I've seen a mummy.  And I can't say I was terribly enlightened by the sight of those dried human remains on display in a museum.  I can't say that it made me a better person.  To the contrary, it just didn't seem like the proper way to respect either the deceased individual or the culture that built the pyramids to protect, conceal and lavishly house those remains.  I find it odd that those who should have the greatest appreciation for the cultures of the past would so callously disrespect them.  What is revealed is a narrow-minded, ego-centric over-estimation of the supposed contributions of  the of archaeology.

I like science.  I spent many years in graduate school and then in academia.  Science can be useful.  But it requires continual skepticism, open-mindedness, questioning, testing and proving.  It is not the end, just a method.  Other basic human values must be respected.

As detectorists, we touch the past and bring it to life in a very personal way, even through the most trivial and comon finds.   We value the past and respect it. 

On this Memorial Day weekend, as men of widely different cultures and backgrounds remember those that have gone before them, we remember deceased fathers, sons, brothers sisters, mothers and daughters.   
May the peace of God be upon you and yours.

In 10 meters of water off the Coast of West Cork Ireland and 16th century wreck was discovered with a cargo of coconuts.   The wreck was discovered during a construction project.

Did you know that most authorities believe that the coconut was brought to the New World by Portuguee and Spanish traders?  Coconuts originated in the Indo-Malaysian area and  were brought to Peurto Rico in the 1540s.  Not only were cocnuts used for food but also lubricating oil.

I' get back to those cobs I showed yesterday some other time.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

More of the same, however the seas will be up a touch on Sunday to between 3 and 4 feet, then decreasing for a few days, becoming very calm towards the end of the week.

The weather is beautiful this morning for being out. 

Expect lots of boaters and beach goers.

Happy hunting,

Friday, May 25, 2012

5/25/12 Report - Navy Investigating Local Plane Wreck & Another Santa Fe Cob

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Here is a cob something like the one I showed yesterday.  There are differences though.  See if you can find any of the differences.

One of the things I like about cobs is the huge number of variations.  Small details can sometimes be a clue to the date the cob was produced.

Photo from the Sewall Menzel book.

I took a look at the beach this morning and was surprised to find a 1 to 3 foot cut that ran for a few hundred yards.  I wasn't expecting that.  Nothing productive though.   Just the same old sand getting washed up and then out again time after time.  It is going to take a good northeaster or something before the Treasure Coast beaches start producing old shipwreck coins in any number again.

My old flipcam worked well.  I was very pleased with it, but I broke the lens.  The new HD flipcam with the touch screen back has been a real pain.   It takes great pictures when it works, but it usually doesn't work.  I thought I had it fixed, but when I got out to the beach it wouldn't work again. 

United States Navy divers are exploring the wreck of a World War II plane that was originally discovered back in December by Randy Jordan, a local diver who is eager to find out more about the wreck and the pilot.

The wreck is in 185 feet of water.

Here is the link to that story.

Odyssey Marine Exploration stock increased over 12% yesterday.  I don't know what was responsible for the pop, but one company upgraded their rating on OMEX a few days ago, and Odyssey will be doing a presentation soon.  Either of those might have been responsible in part, or maybe there is some good news that we haven't heard yet. 

Archaeologists robbed a 1000-year-old tomb where more than 80 men, women and children were laid to rest in Peru.

Here is the link for more about that story.

Expect more of the same at the beach.   The seas will decrease about a foot over the weekend. 

There will be a lot of beach goers out over the holiday weekend.  That means there will be more recent drops.  

Happy hunting,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

5/24/12 Report - Santa Fe 8 Real and Shallow Water Detecting

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

The Same Cob Shown in Yesterday's Post -
Identity Revealed

I said this one could be a little tricky.  It isn't real difficult, but it might be different for Treasure Coast hunters.  It isn't one of the common mints, like Mexico, Potosi or Lima.  But the mint mark is very clear.  The big NR is the mint mark.  That is plain enough.

This style came about as a result of the scandal at the Potosi mint in 1648 where assays revealed that some of the silver was only .500 fine.  As a result of the scandal, King Philip IV ordered a change in design.  This was a new design implemented at the Santa Fe de Bogata mint.

There is certainly enough information on this cob to identify it.  The big NR indicates the Nuevo Reino mint at Santa Fe.  The Pillars and Waves design is obvious.

Like many cob designs there are many variations.   On this one the date can be seen to the right of the right pillar.   In this case it is 1668.

To the left of the left pillar is the assayer mark, R, representing Pedro Ramos.   He used other assayer marks at times, including P.RS, for example.

Beginning above and between the pillars is PLU, UL and TRA in three levels.  

Among the features that vary on these types of cobs is the crowns on the pillars.

The denomination is shown on the other side of the cob, although on this particular example (an 8 real), it is not visible.  It would be seen to the left of the Hapsburg shield. 

The fascinating thing about cobs is the vast number of variations.  There are many features and variation that I did not describe here.

This particular example can be found in Sewall Menzel's book, Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins.

Back to another topic that I started a couple of days ago.  I'll just add a little to that discussion.   As I've said before, when wading while hunting in rough water, you can learn to pick up your feet at the right time and go with the waves, and you'll be moved in one direction and then returned to your starting spot.  I've found that technique of going with the waves to be better than attempting to fight the waves and trying to stay in one spot.  

When you get a signal, quickly mark the spot by making a hole or sticking your scoop in the sand.  When a wave comes, simply lift your feet and let the wave move you off of the spot.  Completing the cycle, the wave will return you to the same spot where you began.

This assumes that you are in sufficiently deep water to float with the wave.  That depth for me is about waist high or higher.  It is actually a little more difficult in shallow water, but you can lift your legs a little more, like you are going to sit down.   When in deeper water that isn't necessary.

I like to use a wood handle on a stainless steel scoop.  The wood handle will keep the scoop floating upright.  In rougher water, you can let go of the scoop when the wave comes.  If you have the scoop dug in or some sand in the scoop, it will stay in place.  You can try to hold onto the handle, but if the waves are big they will move you away from the scoop, but you can grab it again when the wave returns you to the original spot.

You can learn to feel the waves coming and going.  You don't have to watch for the waves.  You'll feel the water sucking you in one direction before the wave hits and pushes you the other direction. .  The timing on picking up your feet and floating will become automatic.  .With practice, it will become very effortless and automatic.   I don't want to sound too flowery or philosophical here, but as you learn to go with the flow, it might might seem like you are becoming one with nature.  The whole idea is to go with it instead of fighting it.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.
The wind and swells are from the east with the seas running about 2 to 4 feet this afternoon and into tomorrow, decreasing again later tomorrow.

Low tide is around 5.

No significant change in conditions, and none in the immediate forecast.

Happy hunting

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

5/23/12 Report - Ghost Ships, UN Proposal to Rule Seas, Cob Quiz

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

 See if you can identify this cob.   It is a little tricky.

I'll tell you what it is in a future post.

Here we go again!  By June the Senate is scheduled to vote on a proposal that will affect you and most of the earth.

Robert K. sent me an email telling about LOST, the Law of the Sea Treaty.

Here is part of what one article says about the treaty.  (Use link below to access the article.)

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ... is perhaps one of the most significant but less recognized 20th century accomplishments in the arena of international law.... Its scope is vast: it covers all ocean space, with all its uses, including navigation and overflight; all uses of all its resources, living and non-living, on the high seas, on the ocean floor and beneath, on the continental shelf and in the territorial seas; the protection of the marine environment; and basic law and order.... The Convention is widely recognised by the international community as the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and the seas must be carried out.

Since most of the earth is covered by water, this treaty would govern most of the earth.

The article goes on to say, If you read the quote carefully, you'll see that the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea which administers LOST would have authority over everything, everything, over, on, and under the oceans and seas of the world. Ratification of LOST would be a very large step toward world government. And, remember under the UN division that administers LOST, our nation wouldn't have veto power like we do in the UN Security Council. We'd have just one vote among 150 or more votes. Just as the League of Nations ultimately fell apart without the United States, let's stay out of the UN's LOST regime, thus denying its legitimacy.

Here is the link to the article.

I could go on about the dangers and implications, but I trust that you'll see that for yourself.

If you don't want the UN having jurisdiction over everything that goes on in, over and under the water along the Treasure Coast and everywhere else, you should call or write your senator and express your views.

It seems like there is a daily assult on our hobby and our freedoms, and it requires our continual vigilance and action just to keep from losing it all.

Here is a nice little article about ghost ships, both new and old.  Ghost ships are ships that are still afloat but abandoned.

Odyssey Marine held a conference call the other day.  Their three main projects right now are the wrecks of the Victory, Gairsoppa, and Mantula.

Gold has been in a very bearish trend lately.

My post the other day on rough water hunting techniques, assumed waist to chin high water.  I'll have to expand on that discussion someday.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

The wind is from the south and the seas are calm, running at only about one or two feet.  That makes for easy water hunting.

Overall conditions remain poor.  Seas will increase slightly the next few days, but not enough to improve beach detecting conditions.

Low tide today is around 4:00.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

5/22/12 Report - Found Casino Chips

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

.999 Pure Silver Luxor Casino Chip

I mentioned finding casino chips the other day.  Rick A. read that post and sent a link to a great web site for buying, selling, trading and finding prices of collectible casino chips.  I'm glad he did because I forgot that I was going to talk about casino chips.

I wouldn't say that casino chips are common beach finds because they are not, but it does happen.

Many people collect casino chips, and I can see why.  They are attractive, interesting, and can be very valuable.

Even modern casino chips have some value.  They can be used if you can get to the casino and some are made of precious metals, like the ten dollar Luxor chip shown here.

Some of the more collectible chips sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

Of course the most valuable chips are from historic casinos that no longer exist.  And many people especially like the slot machine tokens.

This chip was found near the water line in the plastic case shown here.  It was undoubtedly in the water for at least a little while but was protected by the plastic holder.

That is the type of thing that makes me wonder.  How did it get there?  Why would somebody be carrying a casino chip on a beach, and how did they lose it?

You can find all sorts of strange things on a beach, and I often wonder how they got there.

One good thing about Florida beaches is that people from all around the world visit and that means you can find things from all around the world.

Here is a chip from Nairobi Kenya.   It isn't old, but does contain nearly a half an ounce of silver.  That means that it has some value, if only melt value.  

I haven't looked up the denomination yet and don't have any idea what 10 shs is worth.  I suspect not much.

Anyhow, this is one more type of thing that is sometimes found on Florida beaches, and it can be a very interesting area of collecting.

If you want to collect casino chips, you'll probably want to specialize in some way, maybe collecting the chips from casinos of a particular state or time period.

Here is the link that Rick sent. 

Thanks Rick.

Florida had some historic beach casinos too.   One that you might be familiar with is now the Hollywood Beach Resort.  Back in 1926 it was a Florida hot spot.  You can still detect on that beach today.

And there were a  riverboat casinos.   That could be really interesting.

Below is a postcard for sale on eBay showing the old Hollywood Beach Casino.

There have to be some leftovers from those days around there if you can get to the right spot at the right time.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions.

No significant change.  Seas still running about three feet.

The wind is from the south and the swells from the east.

Poor mushy conditions.

Happy hunting,

Monday, May 21, 2012

5/21/12 Report - Shallow Water Detecting in Moderately Rough Water

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Sand and Seaweed Everywhere This Morning

I got out to take a look at the beaches this morning.  It was well after low tide.  As you can see from the photos, it was sandy.  As I've mentioned before, the seaweed indicates that light materials, including sand, is washing in. 

Conditions are poor .  I saw no real exceptions.

There were a couple of positive notes.  The sea was running near three feet this morning, and appeared to be stirring up the dips and front of the beach.

The second positive thing is that the water got fairly high up on the beach at high tide.  It didn't get near the dunes though.

If you are an experienced water hunter who can deal with a bit of rough water, you might try the dips.  The waves were a few seconds apart and a good shallow water hunter could easily deal with that.  Just don't fight the waves, go with them.  I've explained about that in the past.  Before I learned that trick, the waves would slap me all over the place.  I remember one day when the waves were hitting me in the head and giving me a headache.  I also got my headphones knocked off a couple of times too.  I learned how to go with the waves instead of fighting them.  That helped a lot.
Some people use weights and all kinds of things to help them detect while wading in rough water.  Just learn to pick up your feet at the right time and the waves will return you to the same spot. 

After getting a signal, quickly either take a scoop of sand out and put your foot in the hole, or leave the scoop of your long-handled scoop in the sand to mark the spot.  If you have a handle that floats nicely, just keep one hand on the handle and leave the scoop in place and you won't lose the spot.  Like I said, the wave will return you to the same spot, and you can take another scoop before the next wave.  A long period between swells makes it a little easier.

If you look around, you can usually find a sheltered location where the water is a little calmer than at other locations. 

There were some recent drops in the dry sand this morning too  The weather is warm enough that people are going to the beach.  Sudden thunder storms make people quickly leave the beach, sometimes losing things in the process.

I didn't see any shell piles this morning either.  As you know, I like to browse through the shells.

The wind was out of the northwest.  The seas running two to three feet, with swells out of the east/northeast.

Some deceent surfing waves at some locations.

Low tide is around 3:00.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

5/20/12 Report - Wreck Found in Gulf, 2-Reales Found & Petition Reminder

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Wreck discovered by NOAA in the Gulf.   Photo by NOAA.
Copper Shell of 19th Century Wreck Found in the Gulf.

Additional information and the photo can be found by using the following link.

Nice photo.

The wood has mostly dissolved, but the copper shell of the wreck and artifacts including bottles, dishes and muskets remain.

Notice the squares attached over the copper along the bow.  I believe those might be lead markers.   I might have once shown pieces of lead that I believe might be similar hull markers from a Treasure Coast wreck.   Those pieces, if I did post them in this blog (I  don't remember off-hand), were found on a beach opposite a wreck site.  An archaeologist couldn't say what those pieces of lead were but I think the similarity to those shown in this photo supports my interpretation.

I've been swamped lately, but things are slowing down a bit and I'll have a bit more time to respond to my emails and catch up on some other things, including a few innovations that I've been working on. 

I've been having trouble with my camera too.  I'll get that ironed out before long, hopefully.

I received an email from the Mel Fisher organization telling of the most recent discoveries by the crew of the Dare on the trail of the Santa Margarita.   They found some artifacts last week along with five two-reales.  They were working an area just southwest of  where the gold chalice was found in back in 2008.

Received from Sedwick Coins via email:  ... the May 30 deadline to receive consignments for our Summer (Internet-only) Auction #2 (June 28, 2012) is fast approaching. Keep those consignments coming!

You better act soon if you want to consign.

Pete R. sent a reminder asking all to sign the petition to stop NOAA from expanding the Marine Sanctuaries.   I mentioned it back in my 5/15 post.   If you missed that or forgot, here is a link where you can sign to STOP the Sanctuary's Expansion:

I was recently on a flight arriving at PBI and another fellow had a metal detector that he stowed in the over-head compartments.   I asked, and he said that airport security didn't give him any trouble when he brought his metal detector through security.  He carried it on-board in the original cardboard box.  That may have helped.

Decades ago I regularly took detectors on planes as carry-on and had no trouble.  Back then airport security would look at my disassembled detector with a puzzled look, ask what it was, and then let me board with no problem.  I suspect that there is a much greater possibility of encountering problems these days.   Since 911, I prefer to ship any detectors to my destination via UPS separately.  That is probably not necessary, but I want to avoid problems even if I am being overly cautious.

I fixed the link to the web site on State Quarter errors listed in the 5/17 report.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions

I haven't been out to the local beaches for a while.  I'll have to get out there just to take a look, get a few pictures and personally confirm for myself what the situation is. 

There certainly hasn't been anything to suggest any changes from the basically poor conditions that we've had for some time.

Nonetheless, I'll give a more detailed update after I get a chance to take a look for myself.

Until then,

Happy hunting,

Friday, May 18, 2012

5/18/12 Report - Gold Diamond Nugget Ring & Miscellaneous

Gold Nugget Diamond Ring Metal Detector Beach Find.

One more of those nugget style rings.  Man's band.

The price of gold has really been dropping.  Down over $500 an ounce from the last high of near $1900.  That is quite a drop.

Silver also down very significantly.

A lot of that I believe is due to the strength of the dollar lately.  The economic situation in Europe has been making the dollar look good.  The economic situation here isn't much either, but not as bad as places like Greece.

I suppose for those who like hard assets, this isn't a bad time to hold, but who knows.

The other day I mentioned about using a magnet to test for ferrous metals.  

Bill P. wrote to add one important detail.   Here is what he said. 

Just a reminder that many folks may not know that a magnet will pick up nickel metal. There have been cases where counterfeit silver coins were made of nickel, especially silver dollars. It's very similar to silver but as you know silver is not magnetic. U.S. nickels are only 25% nickel and may not exhibit magnetic properties.

Thanks Bill.

I mentioned the other day that the appeal by Odyssey Marine will not be heard by the Supreme Court.  Their stock is way off of recent highs too.

I recently read a news item in an archaeological publication referring to "Pen State." I didn't know if they left off the second "n" of Penn State accidentally or if there is actually a "Pen Stat"e that I should know about. Or maybe it was left off intentionally because of the recent sex abuse scandal as a pun suggesting that some employees might end up in the pen. My guess without looking into it, is that it was a simple error.

I was thinking of writing about casino chip finds.  I've found a couple over the years.  It is surprising what you can find on a beach.  Some casino chips are metallic or partly metallic.

Unfortunately I don't have enough time to really get into that today, so it will have to wait for another day.

At least we've been getting some rain recently.   The seas haven't changed much for a few days - still running around three feet, with wind and swells from the east and southeast.  

That isn't much good.

I wish we would get a good sustained northeaster to open up the beaches for some of the old stuff.  There have been a few, but very few, old shipwreck finds lately.  I've been waiting for a change of beach conditions to get focused back on that.  Fortunately there is always plenty of other stuff to keep a person entertained.   And I like the change of pace every once in a while.

Again, I'm late in responding to emails lately.  Sorry about that.

That's all I have time for today.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, May 17, 2012

5/17/12 Report - The Real Value of Coin Folders for Detectorists

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

State Quarter Folder
If you found one of the state quarters you might think, Ho hum, that's 25 cents. You would probably put it in your pocket and spend it at the first opportunity. That could be a mistake.

There are a number of errors that can be found on state quarters. Of course error coins can always be worth a bit more. 

Here is a web site that describes eight of the most common state quarter errors.

Yesterday I mentioned getting a coin folder to collect state quarters.  I know that isn't a new idea.  I've talked about it before, but as far as I'm concerned, it is a very quick, easy and inexpensive way to add a lot of fun and some extra value to your detecting.
Incomplete Collection of State Quarters.

I'd recommend getting folders for wheat pennies, Lincoln pennies and mercury dimes or any type of coin that you might have found in some numbers.

One thing that many detectorists fail to do is closely inspect your finds.  I recommend carefully examining even modern clad finds.  You can occasionally find rare dates that have some value, and you can find error coins.  I've shown a couple of error coins that I've found in the past.

But if you don't carefully inspect your finds, rare dates and error coins can easily be missed.  You can easily spend a penny that might be worth $10, $20 or more.

If you have the coin folders and collect the different types of coins, you are more likely to take a good look at your routine coin finds, and as a result, get more out of your detecting, both in fun and value.

If you have a folder for a particular type of coin , try to fill every slot in the folder.  You can get folders that have holes for every specific date and mint, and you can get folders with unmarked holes.  When you find a better example of a particular date and mint, replace the coin in the folder with the new better coin.  That will upgrade your collection.   As your collection grows you might add  a second or third  folder for the less perfect coins, as you continue to improve your collection.

Although I enjoy building a complete collection, the biggest value of the folders for me is that I do a better job of inspecting my finds and finding rare dates and error coins that I otherwise would probably miss.

Since beginning to collect State Quarters just a short time ago, I learned about the error coins and also about the existence of proof silver State Quarters.  That goes to show how systematically collecting something as mundane as State Quarters can expand your knowledge and ability to get the most out of your finds.

The Supreme Court refused to take up Odyssey Marine Exploration's appeal.

I haven't been able to respond to all my emails quickly as of late.  Sorry about that.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5/16/12 Report - Miniature Pistol & Ancient Skulls & State Quarters

Small Cap Pistol.
Written by the Treasure Guide for the exclusive use of the

Nice Small Cap Pistol Find.

I've been able to identify this one.  It is from the fifties. 

As small as it is, it actually fires caps.  It opens behind the cylinder where a cap can be inserted and then the hammer cocked and fired.

It cleaned up nicely.  You can tell from the condition, it isn't a beach find.  This is the type of thing you can sometimes find in a yard or park.

I think a vintage toy gun like this would sell easily.

Ancient skulls and artifacts were uncovered when a swimming pool was dug in Florida.  They were buried with a news paper from 1978, and therefore seemed to be what they called a secondary burial.
The article said, The textiles — an intricately woven purse, a sling and a netted carrying bag — and the pottery are consistent with the Chancay culture of coastal Peru and date back to between 1200 to 1470 A.D....

Here is the link.

Evidently someone acquired the ancient artifacts and brought them back to Florida and for some reason buried them.  It goes to show once again, that because a find is old, that doesn't mean it was necessarily lost a long time ago. 

There is a lot of buried stuff out there.  You never know what you might find in your own back yard.

One thing you might want to do is start a collection of the state quarters.

Launched in 1999, the United States Mint's 50 State Quarters Program was a 10-year initiative that honored each of the nation's states in the order that they ratified the Constitution or were admitted into the Union. Each quarter was produced for about 10 weeks and will never be produced again.

You can still find nice examples in circulation or in your finds.  As time goes by you'll probably have a harder time finding good examples.

I like to get those booklets with the holes for the coins.  It adds a little fun to some routine finds.

Besides the clad that you typically can find in circulation, there are also silver "S" quarters.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions 

The wind is mostly from the south.  That usually means accumuation of shells and light materials on the front beach.

Seas are running around three feet.

Add that up and it means continued poor conditions.

There will still be some recent drops from beach goers and there are always the off-beach locations to do.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5/15/12 Report - Testing Metals, Drift Card & Petition

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Tom Guidus of Wreckovery Salvage forwarded the following to me.

From professional salvor Pat Clyne.

The “Mother” of all Battles:

We thought it would be appropriate to form this group today, May 13th, to express a dire urgency to ALL people, especially those living on our coastlines and those who visit, that your rights to our ocean’s waterways are being threatened by a startling number of bureaucrats and legislators in Washington who are planning a strategic ‘coup’ to take away individual State’s rights by federalizing our country’s coastlines and banning certain activities that we as a people have enjoyed since becoming a free nation.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is feverishly trying to pass legislation to form and extend Marine Sanctuaries on our East Coast before the Nov. elections. Although many may believe that this is a protective move to save our oceans resources (which is precisely how they present it and what they want you to believe), it is nothing more then a “Taking” of our rights to continue to practice our freedoms to enjoy and work in our professions.

Ask any fisherman, wreck diver, private salvor, or boating enthusiast living in a Marine Sanctuary and they will tell you how their rights to pursue their chosen endeavor has been either harshly restricted or totally banned once these Sanctuary’s are in place.

They MUST be STOPPED! And the only way that can happen is for us, the people of this country, who have been given this responsibility, to tell our government officials WE want to STOP this NOW! If we don’t do it NOBODY else will.

In the coming days and weeks we will be posting more information on this latest government intrusion on our private lives and ask you to participate in this “Coastline Coalition” of like minded individuals who want to see our present freedoms on the sea remain intact.   Thank You.

Sign the petition:


Here is a story about a boy that found a plastic drift card.  Drift cards are used to track the flow of ocean currents.

Someone asked me about testing metals. For precious metals, I use an acid testing kit. There are also pens for testing precious metals, but I've only used the acid kits.  The acid test kits can be purchased on, eBay and jewelry supply retailers.

For other metals, there are other tests. A simple magnet is an easy way to identify ferrous metals.

I've posted information about testing titanium in this blog before. Use the bog search box and you'll find that post.

Here is a link to one post on acid testing.

This blog contains a lot of information. I don't think enough people use the search box or the archives. 

Here is one example of a basic gold test kit sold on

You can also get kits with acid for testing silver and platinum in addition to different purities of gold. . I'd recommend that you get both of those too.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Conditions.

Yesterday morning at low tide I found one interesting beach.  There were actually some cuts, some scallops, and a firm flat front beach.  Also you could see where recent high tides had deposited shells and other light materials behind the berm.

Seas will run about three feet.   The wind has been from the southeast a lot lately.  That normally builds beaches.  Wednesday it will shift around a bit, part of the time coming for the west.

I would rate beach conditions as being a 1 on my rating scale.  Some beaches are a touch better than others.  Still the probability of finding a cob or treasure coin right now is low.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, May 13, 2012

5/13/12 Report - Bent Penny, Drowned Watch & Great Cross

Written by the TreasrueGuide for the exclusive use of

Bent Penny Beach Find
I mentioned the other day that beach finds sometimes show evidence of undergoing extreme force.  I've found a lot of coins that are bent, many more than this penny which I just happened to run across.  Good example of what I was talking about.

I have my own theory about how this happens.  I'd like to hear your ideas on that.

Happy Mother's Day.

Despite the less than ideal conditions for finding shipwreck cobs and treasure coins, things are being found. From the modern jewelry to other types of old artifacts, there are individuals that are making good finds. That is always the case.

Although most detectorists on the Treasure Coast are interested in old shipwreck coins, you can always find something.  Sometimes good finds are more difficult, but with time and patience, you can find something of interest.  When you hit a spot that is producing, stick with it.  Clean it out.

One thing I do in this blog is show a variety of types of treasure.  I believe that the more different types of treasure you are familiar with the more consistently successful you will be. 

Some people have the patience to stick with one target relentlessly through long dry spells.  Others do not have that amount of patience and might have to switch from one type of target to another just to keep finding enough to remain interested and motivated.

When you can't find one type of target, you can almost always find another type. There are times when one type of treasure will be showing up and times when another entirely different type will be showing up o the beaches.  It depends upon beach conditions and what the surf and sand is doing.

When old coins are not showing up, other things like pot shards or fossils might be.  And there is the constant replenishment of modern items on any busy beach.

If you are one of those who do not have endless patience, invest some time in learning about other types of treasure hunting, and try some new locations.   The learning that is required to do that can test your patience too, but if you try to learn from your experiences and realize that what you learn is as important as what you find, you'll stay interested and learn something that will lead to more future finds.

St. Augustine is America's is not only the site of America's oldest city but also it's first mission.   The Mission of Nombre de Dios goes back to 1565 when Pedro Menendez de Aviles planted a small wooded cross to claim the site for Spain.  A 70-ton Great Cross stands on the site.  It was constructed in 1966.

Here are two links that tell will provide information about the mission and the Great Cross.

Here is a link that gives the value of Lincoln pennies for the various years and conditions.

You can find the values of other US coins if you browse around that web site.

The most recent blog poll has concluded and the results are in.  I didn't get around to writing about it before now.

From the poll results it appears that this blog's readers vary widely concerning how frequently they actually get out to detect.  That is not surprising.  Detectorists come in all varieties.  Some are arm-chair treasure hunters, some are very casual about the hobby, and some very radical.   There is the whole variety, and it appears that all varieties read this blog.

23% of those who responded to the poll indicated that they did not get out to detect at all in April.   There are a variety of different reasons for that.  I suppose some are out-of-state and only detect when they come to Florida where they can detect the beaches, some are arm-chair treasure hunters, some were just too busy with other responsibilities and some only detect when conditions are good for finding shipwreck treasure.  I've talked to some who have no interest in finding modern coins and jewelry.  It is a diverse group.

The largest category of respondents said they detected 1-5 times, or roughly once a month for that particular month.  That would be something you could do if you devoted one weekend day per week to detecting.  

23% said they detected 6-10 times in April.  For many, I'm sure that would be weekends.  Although you will see detectorists on the beach any day of the week, you will typically see more on a weekend.  Although there are a lot retired detectorists, obviously many are still busy with work and families.

Then there are the hard core detectorists.  18% said they detected more than 10 days in April, which is obviously more than twice a week.   That kind of frequency will keep you in touch with what is going on on the beaches and the daily changes that occur. 

Of course April might have been atypical for some detectorists.  For example, it might have been a time when they were on vacation and detected more than normal, or it might have been a time when they were out of town or been unusually busy with other things. 

Overall, I'd say that the poll shows that this blog's readers includes both ends of the spectrum and everything in between, from the arm-chair detectorists to the everyday detectorist.

Treasure Coast Beach Detecting Forecast and Conditions.

Drowned Watch

This is the type of thing that is often found in dips in front of the beach when there is still a lot of loose material in the dip.  Watches tend to ride high in loose sand due to a couple of factors.  One is that they are hollow.  Another is the relatively large surface area they present.  That goes back to the discussion on weight, density, shape etc.

The most productive dips won't have a lot of sand or shells in them, but will have a hard packed bottom of rock or clay.

The watch has obviously been submersed for a while.  That is always something to take into account - how long an item has been lost.  An item that has been lost longer is a getter sign than a recent drop, which will be closer to where it was originally lost.

Always look for any signs that you are getting closer to older accumulations of items.

I  mention the watch here because it is the type of item that you will often find in the kind of dips we have now.

The wind is from the East and the seas running around four feet.  The tides aren't as big as they were a few days ago. 

Most beaches are very sandy.  As I've been mentioning, there are some dips in the shallow water in front of the beach.   They are mostly still pretty sandy though.

No change in beach conditions is expected for a couple of days.

Happy hunting,